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England-Suffolk Flag UK > England > Suffolk

Sep 2018

Distance 5 miles Strenuousity 2.

Suffolk Coat of Arms

You're probably only contemplating this because you've run out of things to buy at Snape Maltings? There's no real need for no OS X212, neither, this is a straight two-and-a-half miler along a river and double that if you decide to come back, which is likely.

WOODBRIDGE & SAXMUNDHAM - Aldeburgh & Framlingham

Head sort of south from the overflow car park where it's time to stretch those legs. The only thing that's been stretched, so far, is the old overdraft back at the Maltings, eh?

The wooden walkways don't last forever and you might want to check the tide. It was out on this visit but muddied comments have been observed elsewhere and if the moon's in the right mood, there's a brief stretch that might be plain impassable.

This is on and around the River Alde and if you want to blend in around here should be pronounced Orld. It runs out into the North Sea near Aldeburgh, which is a few tidal miles to the east, and if you want to blend in there should be pronounced Orl-Bruh.

After about 15 minutes you'll reach a local picnic spot or Iken Bowling Club if you'd rather. That's a joke, of course, it's way too wonky.

Quite why this grass is so immaculately shorn, though, isn't known but you could play snooker on here, seriously.

If only it weren't so wonky.

The halfway point of Iken Cliff is, quite frankly, a bit of a disappointment cliff-wise. Twenty foot high don't even get the wobblies[1] anywhere near started but you might have to divert up it if the tide's right in.

[1] Yes, that'll be the old vertigo.

Still, there's plenty of wildlife along this stretch with the quick flash of a kingfisher that's too quick for this one's flash. There's also an island full of godwits, it's thought, one of three egrets and an, as yet, unidentified wader.

They're tricky ones these waders since they still all look the same. It might be a godwit or a redshank or a sanderling or a dunlin or a knot. What? It might not be a wader?

With the church in your sights, you'll have to divert inland and avoid some noisy bees on a bush just before you reach the road.

Iken, itself, is a small collection of isolated dwellings from where Church Road takes you up to St Botolph's, which is in three parts.

The tower is typical 15th century, the chancel more recent and the nave dates from around 1200 although it's been extensively restored. Just like a retired, Aussie cricketer, it too has had a relatively recent  thatch transplant.

There's some reading material inside documenting the fate of all three brothers of the Button[1] family who were killed in action during World War I. They came from Iken Common and were buried abroad but there's a more chilling and local reminder in this graveyard. Private F.W. Miller. Aged 39. November 3rd... 1918!

[1] There may be some family connection and the reason for first coming to Suffolk six years ago.

Around the halfway mark on the way back, intrepid, aquatic types are taken care of at Iken Canoe. That's not as in I can canoe because one simply wouldn't know, never having had the urge nor the need to be anywhere near one.

Iken Common no longer exists on any map but it's up there on the left, somewhere, and you may have to head that way if the tide's coming in. That requires the 'clifftop' path and if you think that's bad timing, that First World problem is nothing compared to those First World War problems.

If you're not paddling to the North Sea, you might have to give them a ring anyway. That's if the tide is in and you don't fancy diverting up that 'cliff', that is.

Meanwhile, back at Snape Maltings, refreshments beckon as does some high-end  house and garden ware. The parking may be free but that's a false economy.

Hey, who doesn't need a pricey, new plant pot?

Fauna Saw...

What Number Behaviour  
Bees Swarm Busy buzzing in a bush.
Egret - Little 3 Elagantly poised.
Godwit - Bar tailed 122 Numerous.
Kingfisher 1 Too fast for this flash.
Wader 1 Unidentified.